Giacchino Excited By Challenge Of New Trek Score

Michael Giacchino is currently at work on the score for the new Speed Racer movie, but he is already thinking ahead to how he will approach scoring JJ Abrams’ Star Trek. The 2008 Oscar and Grammy nominee talked to the LA Times about how scores for both Racer and Trek will have connections to the original sources, but also stand on their own.

For Speed Racer, Giacchino wants to be sure of a connection to the past

It will have an injection of feeling from the old show, but just on a bigger scale. I have every single score from ‘Speed Racer.’ I found them in Japan on CD, and I love that music. I want to make sure there’s a thread to it, so this feels like it was born out of the show

Giacchino tells the times he will start work on Trek in April, but he already has put some thought into it:

What I am thinking about is how so much amazing music has been written for the series, whether it be for the show or TV or the later shows. There’s so much stuff there that I love, so to have to put something into that world is very daunting.

But, Giacchino still wants to the score to stand alone and sit well with Abrams vision for the film, saying:

In the same way that J.J. took the story and is re-inventing what it is, this is a chance to create something new, thematically, so I am excited about that challenge, but I want it to feel like it deserves to sit up on the shelf with the other ones.

For the full Giacchino interview, goto the LA Times.

For a full list of Giacchino’s works, goto his official site

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Great article! I am so excited about this score — he is a terrific choice. Not too excited about Speed Racer, though…

Sounds like this man has the passion to take on past trek score composers. I am very excited.

I think that his score should have elements of both Alexander Courage’s Theme and also Jerry Goldsmith’s. It would also be interesting if he put motifs from other Kirk era films every once in a while, such as those of James Horner, Leonard Rosenman, and Cliff Eidelman. Finally, add some original series music motifs along with original Giacchino motifs and I think that this will be the best Star Trek Film score yet.

I hope the score will stand on it´s own and also fit for trek, like the score from star trek VI did.

well…not first

Glad to hear he enjoys the original themes

Oh and Last! or not, hey wait a minute I’m not really F!!!!!!!! am I

wow! no ones jumped on the re-invention quote to start a movie buycott yet!!

“In the same way that J.J. took the story and is re-inventing what it is”

Well folks, Giacchino confirmed canon is being tossed out like yesterday’s newspaper. All that we have know, all that we loved will be lost.

Well, #7, it didn’t take long. Jeez.

Jeez, here we go again, taking one sentence out of context, and blowing it out of proportion…

And stop with the melodrama about canon being tossed aside. People who are making the movie said so themselves that Trek will be appropriately honored in this movie.

Yep, there’s that ugly word… Re-inventing. Sigh. At least what we have heard about uniforms is encouraging.

If what I’ve heard from Speed Racer so far is his work, I’m sorely unimpressed. But even John Williams and Danny Elfman have bad days :)

I do agree it should carry elements of the Trek music we know, but he should not be grounded by it, either. That’s a sure way to get a score he feels no heart for. Or we get a score that sounds the same from scene to scene (ala Superman Returns)

Hint at the old scores, but tell the story first.

I have heard some of his work, and I think he’ll be fine.

I think something similar to the TSFS score would be best for this movie (yeah the TWOK score was great, but a little too militaristic for my taste).

Say what you will about the movie itself, but I don’t think any other score captured the magic and wonder of the Star Trek universe as well as that one did.

The music during the “stealing the Enterprise” scene is as good as it gets, IMO.

#8…. only if you let it be so. You will still have everything you had before… if you don’t accept the new movie as canon, you can still enjoy it as an alternate version.

So cheer up! Nothing they do now can affect what we already have.

On the score subject, I think we’ll have a great one, especially if he references some of the well-known themes of the series, something rarely done in the movies before this.

13 – That’s one of my favorite all-time Trek scores, is the piece for “Stealing the Enterprise”. That and the use of TOS theme for the return to the Enterprise in TVH.

If all you think of Giacchino is for Speed Racer, check out his score for The Incredibles. He completely nailed the James Bond/superhero/over-the-top style that would set it up there with the John Barry scores for Goldfinger and Thunderball.

He knows what to do with genres of music, and I think he’ll do it just fine.

To me, he sounds like the approach David Arnold takes with the Bond movies currently. He knows when to cue the classic musical themes, and integrate them into something new.

The “stealing the Enterprise” scene is probably one of my favourite scenes spanning the entire 40 years.

All of it was beautifully done; sight, sound, pacing, and all other elements perfectly combined

Giacchino has done excellent work with The Incredibles and Lost to name a few pieces.

I’m really excited to see what he can do with the Star Trek franchise.



Giacchino has done more than I realized. His work is wonderful.:)

#14 “On the score subject, I think we’ll have a great one, especially if he references some of the well-known themes of the series, something rarely done in the movies before this.”

I rewatched TWOK recently, and there were a surprising number of interludes lifted directly from the series, particularly during the scenes where Kirk & Co. are hunting down Kahn after he’s stolen the Genesis device. So, being the geekala that I am, I watched the “Space Seed” episode again, and note for note, the music was almost identical.

Would *lovelovelove* to see that treatment again!

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Where the heck were all the “geekalas” when I was in high school? Of course, there were some, but there was no internet to find them!!!

I’d like to hear something along the lines of the original series, dramatic and emotional. Music with real personality, not something vanilla like was done over and over in the spin-off series.

#14 ,#19

I too watched TWOK recently and also noticed a repeating theme throughout the TOS series, like in the scene where Khan first finds Chekov and interrogates him. That to me stood out as such a great example of how the original music could integrate into the feature films.

#16 – totally agree.

Throughout the different series and the movies, there have been musical moments which froze it in time for the viewers.

The Klingon’s theme in STMP.

Khan’s theme? I still get goosebumps.

Amazing Grace? Classic when used in the right way.

Oddly I never liked the STMP theme, but came to love it with Next Gen.

Anyone still tear up at the theme from “Inner Light”? Absolutely brilliant!

For me, Courage’s original trumpet opening is paramount (no pun intended), and should be used in some context. It is (the original Courage theme) as much Star Trek as is the Enterprise.

But we are talking about the beginning of the franchise again, so the music should have a character all its own. Fans will want that original theme somewhere, and used respectfully. If the initial trailer is any example, we won’t be disappointed.


I’m with you. We all have nothing to worry about on this score — pun intended.

Between his work for The Incredibles and Lost, it’s clear that Giacchino’s ear for idioms and his ease with different types of orchestration are both good omens. He doesn’t churn out characterless dreck like some TV & movie composers Who Shall Remain Nameless.

I’ve always loved the music from the original show, not just because its leitmotifs fit the characters & action so perfectly, but because it reflected trends in 20th-century classical music — especially Russian. There’s some pretty discordant, propulsive, spiky stuff in there, imaginatively arranged.

I doubt that Giacchino will be parroting it exactly, and he shouldn’t. But his work is so good & so imaginative that we can rest assured he’ll churn out something well worth hearing.

#16 – you know that the score for Stealing the Enterprise was itself stolen, almost note-for-note, from Prokofiev’s ballet for Romeo and Juliet? In fact, Horner basically cribbed either from Prokofiev (Star Treks, Battle Beyond the Stars, Krull) or Khachaturian (Aliens, Clear and Present Danger), or indeed himself…

I hope while Giacchino acknowledges those scores in some way, he at least makes an attempt to be ORIGINAL instead of raping public-domain compositions.

Giacchino will do a terrific job, as long has he maintains his own voice. Although it would be wonderfull to see Steiner’s and others work beeing recognized, this one needs to be an original. I’d love a new Star Trek on my soundtrack-shelf and not just a adaption. Same thing counts for for the movie, by the way.

Off course, an exception needs to be maid for Courage’s theme. In teh words of James Horner: making Star Trek without it is like making Star Trek without the Enterprise

Speeking of wich, #19

Space Seed did not have original music, but was tracked with music from other episodes. Also, except for the basic texture, I find the music in TWOK quite different. Could you tell what sequence you’re refering to?

#8: ““In the same way that J.J. took the story and is re-inventing what it is”

Well folks, Giacchino confirmed canon is being tossed out like yesterday’s newspaper. All that we have know, all that we loved will be lost.”

I’m sorry, are we caring about that now?

My thinking of the score for this movie should parallel what was done for Casino Royale:

Since we were seeing the “beginning” of James Bond, in essence, Arnold had scored the movie with his own compositions, mixed in the title song (an essential to a successful Bond soundtrack), and liberal sprinklings of the Monty Norman theme (also called “(Theme from) Dr. No”).

At the very end of the movie, you get the whole package in the last sequence: Bond corners his target, he finally says his name in the classic way (which was not done until that scene), and the complete and original theme is heard.

My thinking is that this may follow that track (or Trek): you’ll hear those little echoes of the original music, then by the end, you will see the complete TOS crew on the Enterprise going into space, then hear the complete theme music from TOS as we go into the end credits.

Anyone for Fred Steiner and the Corbomite Maneuver?

#28 – yes.

#13….right on. I sometimes throw STIII in just to see, and hear that one scene. I agree totally.

He has enormous shoes to fill, and I wish him luck, inspiration, and endurance :)

Also, a good getaway car, just in case the purists hate it and stage a riot.

8. Sybok Amok –

Heh, someone named Sybok is complaining about JJ not following Canon…despite the whole Sybok thing being a bit dicey.

I could care less if we refers to any of the trek movie themes. I mean referring to those aweome original series music compositions that have been engraved in our minds for years. It had, hands down, the best incidental music of any TV series.
I’m not looking for wholesale reproductions, just a reference here and there. And considering his MO, we’ll hear a little more familiar music than just the Courage theme. Those will be spine-tingling moments.

Steiner rocks! (In a manner of speaking)

As to canon: we are seeing a lot more attention to canon details than I would have expected given my initial fears upon first hearing of a “re-imagining”. George Kirk, Pike, Kobayashi Maru cheating, allusions to “Enterprise” – sounds like if I closed my eyes it would totally fit within the established structure of the Trek universe. And if I opened them, I would see . . . not sure yet, but am willing to give the creative team the benefit of the doubt in that regard. The key will be whether it is a good movie – one where people WANT to pull it into the overall Trek universe. If so, I am convinced that a canonical explanation of differences will either be provided by the film itself or engineered by clever fans.

is the small piece of music from the trailer part of the overall score?


One of my favorite parts of Nemesis was near the end when we see the Ent E in drydock and Goldsmith gives us a few measures of his original TMP theme.

I’d love a new theme with nods like Goldsmith gave us. That would be very exciting.

#26 – Right you are! There are certainly many other film composers out there that “borrow” material from other composers (for instance, John Williams with Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, to name a few), but few are as egregious as Horner in outright stealing.

Horner was the most moving score- hope he pays some attention to that as well.

Just my 2 cents

All this moaning about cannon and junk is really tiring. “i want the movie to be just like the 60’s version!” Go watch TOS remastered then.

If you (canon wonks) seriously think that a modern audience is going to accept go-go boots, vacuum tubes, and rubber hortas, you’re nuts.

Michael Giacchino: WELCOME ABOARD! Your name is about to become legendary in ‘Trek production lore; we hope you are not overwhelmed by that notion, but rather will embrace the challenge and bask in our purchasing of the soundtrack when the film is released. And I KNOW WE WILL! Here’s also hoping that the studio orchestra recording sessions will be documented in JJ’s “STAR TREK: Behind-the-Scenes” production DVD, which has been [rumored to be] considered for simultaneous release (or something such as that).

BTW, it’s also hoped (by SOME of us, anyway) that there may be a scene in which Nyota Uhura may sing the LYRICS to TOS series theme, “REMEMBER ME,” for some reason that actually makes sense in the story, such as when Nichelle sang songs such as “Beyond Antares” in TOS—in the ship’s rec room, or humming to herself while working on the bridge—if Alex and Roberto haven’t already written that type of scenario into their storyline. Sure, some will read that idea and say it may clutter the story too much, but SO WHAT??? A 2-hour STAR TREK movie with Uhura singing is just what [Dr. McCoy] ordered, don’t you think?

Good luck, Michael—we’re all looking forward to your musical take on STAR TREK!

“If you (canon wonks) seriously think that a modern audience is going to accept go-go boots, vacuum tubes, and rubber hortas, you’re nuts.”

I think you’re confusing ’60s production design with ’60s production value. I haven’t seen anyone advocating the latter.

Space Seed did not have original music, but was tracked with music from other episodes. Also, except for the basic texture, I find the music in TWOK quite different. Could you tell what sequence you’re refering to?

I did notice that music in other episodes as well. The interludes I’m talking about are very, very small. It’s really just a hint of what was used in Space Seed and others. There’s one scene with Khan on the bridge of the stolen ship during the cat-and-mouse sequence and as mentioned before, the scene where Khan puts the space slug in Chekov’s ear. They’re some type of horn, maybe trombone. Hard to put into words. You’d simply have to hear it.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

Dare I hope for a new version of the “Amok Time” fight music?


Ooops #43 meant for #27 Doorchime.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

#39 Yes!

Horner’s stuff (stolen or not) was fantastic. Also, in TMP, shortly after E leaves spacedock, Goldsmith uses some of the orignial series’ theme song (not the 8 note fanfare). That would be cool to hear as well.

#38, re: #26.

Actually, Steiner’s original stuff referenced Prokoviev and Shostakovich quite boldly. I’m all for it myself. No one wrote syncopated fanfares like those Russians.

Yeah, I was about to ask, who did the musical cues for the trailer?

#47 and just to add — so long as Giacchino doesn’t ape Carmina Burana, I think we’ll be okay. If I hear one more imitation of “O Fortuna,” I’ll pop my cork.